The road to World Cup 2010: Official topic - Xtratime Community
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post #1 of 208 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2007, 16:35 Thread Starter
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The road to World Cup 2010: Official topic

Another adventure for the national team starts on Sunday in South Africa where the draw for the WC qualification groups will be made.

Our win in Hungary last night ensured we'll be in pot 1 for the WC which allows us to avoid the majority of the theoretically "big nations". Of course, as with any pot-based draw, there are all kinds of opponents in all pots so anything can happen. Here are the pots:

Pot 1
- Italy
- Spain
- Germany
- Czech Republic
- France
- Portugal
- Netherlands
- Croatia
- Greece

Greece cannot be drawn with any of the teams in pot 1. So our opponents come from the following pots, one from each:

Pot 2
- England
- Romania
- Scotland
- Turkey
- Bulgaria
- Sweden
- Russia
- Poland
- Israel

Pot 3
- Serbia
- Norway
- Ukraine
- Denmark
- Northern Ireland
- Ireland
- Finland
- Switzerland
- Belgium

Pot 4
- Slovakia
- Hungary
- Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Moldova
- FYROM
- Wales
- Belarus
- Lithuania
- Cyprus

Pot 5
- Georgia
- Albania
- Slovenia
- Latvia
- Iceland
- Armenia
- Austria
- Kazakhstan
- Liechtenstein

Pot 6
- Azerbaijan
- Estonia
- Malta
- Luxembourg
- Montenegro
- Andorra
- Faroe Islands
- San Marino

Last edited by AMOROSO!; November 22nd, 2007 at 16:45.
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post #2 of 208 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2007, 16:58 Thread Starter
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Here are my thoughts:

I'm not really worried about who we'll face since every single team from pots 2-6 is beatable home and away if we are in good form. However, since good form is not always guaranteed and we don't know in what situation we'll be after the Euro, nor do we know whether Rehhagel will be with us or not (and that's a big factor), having a good draw can ensure qualification even if performances are not always great, exactly as it was with the qualification for Euro 2008. It will also be nice to avoid encounters which carry off-field baggage, ie teams which play extra-hard against us but are easy matches for our opponents in qualification.

From pot 2, the obvious best choices are Israel, Scotland and Bulgaria. Poland should not theoretically scare us, but while I would consider them an ideal opponent for the Euro, they're always scarily good in qualifiers. After failing to qualify for Euro 2008 England might decide to get their shit together so they might appear really strong. Best to avoid. Also, I'm kind of bored of playing Turkey.

From pot 3, Denmark and especially Switzerland are tough teams. The rest are very much beatable, although Serbia and Ukraine are potentially good. Ideal opponents: Northern Ireland and Finland. Basically this pot is full of teams who play the kind of football we excel and rarely loose at: hard, strong and tough. Most of them are better off avoiding us but of course they don't know it.

Pot 4 is tricky. All teams are "moody", which means they can show up really bad or all guns firing. It's best to avoid FYROM as they'd rather get a single point off us than win the World Cup while Slovakia also looks the best of the lot. Hungary and Bosnia have good potential and kicking their ass in the Euro qualifiers does not necessarily mean we can repeat the feat at the WC qualifiers. Cyprus is also quite talented. Ideal opponents: Wales and Lithuania.

Pot 5: It's best to avoid Albania because they'll also die to get a point off us and mostly loose from our competitors. Having said that, no team (including Albania) in this pot is of sufficient quality to trouble us if we're focused but are all capable of beating us if we're not. Except one: Lichtenstain, which makes a great, quiet trip.

Pot 6: Azerbaijan means a long trip to nowhere so best to avoid it. But it doesn't matter really.

So my ideal group is:

Greece
Israel
Northern Ireland
Lithuania
Liechtenstein
San Marino



Toughest group:

Greece
England
Denmark
FYROM
Albania
Azerbaijan
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post #3 of 208 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2007, 18:18
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I agree with the wishing to avoid the wee nations who can only get hard for us. The types who get smashed by the Belarus' at home.

I disagree on Pot 3. We don't want Finland. They've been very good of late. Belgium would be ideal with Ireland right behind them. Even though we can beat any team in this pot.

As for Pot 4, Moldova only troubled us because we let them. Wouldn't mind them again at all.

In Pot 1, Bulgaria has been woeful of late.

Ideal group:
Greece
Bulgaria
Belgium
Moldova
Liechtenstein
San Marino


Would rather avoid:
Greece
Turkey
Denmark
FYROM
Albania
Azerbaijan

To pio omorfo pragma sto kosmo einai na agapas tin AEK!
Det Vackraste i den har varlden, ar att alska AEK!
Самая прекрасная вещь на свете, это любить АЕК!
La plus belle chose dans le monde est l'amour pour l'AEK!
La cosa piu' bella nel' mondo e' di amare l'AEK!
Dünya'da en güzel şey, AEK aşkı.
A legszebb dolog a világon az AEK iránti imádat.
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post #4 of 208 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2007, 19:32
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How does this qualifying work now, same as Euro 2008? Top two teams automatic?
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post #5 of 208 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2007, 19:53 Thread Starter
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Top team of each group goes to WC, 8 out of 9 second best teams play home-and-away play offs.
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post #6 of 208 (permalink) Old November 22nd, 2007, 20:14
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The draw is on Sunday.Let's hope for the best.
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post #7 of 208 (permalink) Old November 25th, 2007, 14:24
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Ideal Group:

Greece
Israel
Ireland
Lithuania
Liechtenstein
Andorra

Worst Draw:

Greece
England
Denmark
Wales
Austria
Montenegro
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post #8 of 208 (permalink) Old November 25th, 2007, 16:23
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So we are in Group B

Greece
Israel
Switzerland
Moldova
Latvia
Luxembourg

Nice draw
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post #9 of 208 (permalink) Old November 25th, 2007, 16:51 Thread Starter
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It could have gone much worse!

I think that if we show up reasonably good throughout the qualifiers, we shouldn't have a problem to get the first spot.

Israel and Switzerland are very tough teams, with Israel being really strong at home and Switzerland good on away games, but they are not better teams than us.

The other three are the kind of teams you need to beat home-and-away in every qualifier.

Basically getting two wins against Moldova, Latvia and Luxemburg and beating Israel and Switzerland at home should be enough to qualify.

I'm happy. It would be nice to avoid Switzerland but it's still a very good group for us.
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post #10 of 208 (permalink) Old November 25th, 2007, 17:41
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Fantastic draw for us, only group 3 looks easier.

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post #11 of 208 (permalink) Old November 25th, 2007, 17:46
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I was hoping to Azerbaijan vs Greece would got same group but unfortunately never happened..anyway,better luck next time

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post #12 of 208 (permalink) Old November 25th, 2007, 21:52
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Nice group!!
I think if we will be serious we can take the first place.
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post #13 of 208 (permalink) Old November 25th, 2007, 22:15
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Ohhh we got a very positive draw gentlemen.

We shouldn't have problems if they are motivated every team but Switzerland is a couple of tiers below us.

To pio omorfo pragma sto kosmo einai na agapas tin AEK!
Det Vackraste i den har varlden, ar att alska AEK!
Самая прекрасная вещь на свете, это любить АЕК!
La plus belle chose dans le monde est l'amour pour l'AEK!
La cosa piu' bella nel' mondo e' di amare l'AEK!
Dünya'da en güzel şey, AEK aşkı.
A legszebb dolog a világon az AEK iránti imádat.

Last edited by Icarus; November 25th, 2007 at 22:35.
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post #14 of 208 (permalink) Old November 25th, 2007, 22:40
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By the way, did you guys know everyone is better than Greece?


To pio omorfo pragma sto kosmo einai na agapas tin AEK!
Det Vackraste i den har varlden, ar att alska AEK!
Самая прекрасная вещь на свете, это любить АЕК!
La plus belle chose dans le monde est l'amour pour l'AEK!
La cosa piu' bella nel' mondo e' di amare l'AEK!
Dünya'da en güzel şey, AEK aşkı.
A legszebb dolog a világon az AEK iránti imádat.
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post #15 of 208 (permalink) Old November 25th, 2007, 22:41
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Fantastic group. We should grab first place imo. At the worst 2nd and to a playoff if we are in poor form.


Very happy. I could get use to this pot 1 stuff.
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post #16 of 208 (permalink) Old November 25th, 2007, 23:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMOROSO!
The other three are the kind of teams you need to beat home-and-away in every qualifier.

Basically getting two wins against Moldova, Latvia and Luxemburg and beating Israel and Switzerland at home should be enough to qualify.


Exactly. This is what it boils down to basically.


The good news is that we always do well against the weaker teams. I mean in the 04' - 06' - 08' qualifying look at our record against "smaller" teams:


Played - 18.... Wins - 17... Draw - 0... Loss - 1....... GF 38 - GA 9


1 loss in 18 games, and that was to Albania in Albania, you know how that goes.


Moldova, Latvia and Luxemburg should be 18 points no questions asked if we are to finish first.
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post #17 of 208 (permalink) Old November 25th, 2007, 23:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus
By the way, did you guys know everyone is better than Greece?

Yep, with a bit of luck we can finish at 3rd place
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post #18 of 208 (permalink) Old November 26th, 2007, 02:20
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Great draw guys, you're the CLEAR CUT favorites of this group.

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post #19 of 208 (permalink) Old November 26th, 2007, 02:23
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agreed. but good luck to you guys

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post #20 of 208 (permalink) Old November 26th, 2007, 02:46
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If Blanco keeps scoring, how much would you bet he might be tempted for the NT?

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